Southern California blues singer Lisa Cee has been a favorite of blues and roots fans for a number of years on the West Coast, playing with numerous blues luminaries like Marcia Ball, Kid Ramos, Tinsley Ellis, Rod Piazza, Miss Mickey Champion, and Paul Oscher, among others. In addition, she has been the leader of the house band in the Gibson and Fender Guitar Lodge at the Sundance Film Festival since 2008.
After years of toiling away and paying her dues, Ms. Cee has finally recorded her first solo album, My Turn (Rip Cat Records). Backed by a powerhouse band (BR Millon � guitar, Mike Hightower � bass, Albert Trepagnier Jr. � drums), along with guests Ron Dziubla � sax, Johnny Maestro � harmonica, Scott Abeyta � guitar, Jim Kersey � drums, Max Bangwell � percussion, Edo Guidotti � keyboards, and Chris McCarthy � cello, Cee rips through a strong set of songs, 14 total.
Nine of the tunes are original compostions and Cee also does a fine job on five wide-ranging covers, including the soulful opener, �What Good Am I,� a �60s tune associated with Miss Champion, the hard-driving boogie, �Good-Bye Baby,� composed by the late Robert Lucas, Karen Lawrence�s �Bright Shiny World,� a bouncy acoustic take on the Staples Singers� classic �I�ll Take You There,� and an impressive reworking of the old Jefferson Airplane �60s anthem, �White Rabbit.�
Cee�s originals are equally strong, as she moves easily from funky R&B flavored blues (�Fire In The Sky,� �Cold Hearted Woman,� �Evil,� and �Stop Tryin��) to swampy slow blues (�Lost You�) to high energy blues/rock (�Fire� and �Right Man�) to more mainstream roots tracks (�My Turn� and �Already Free�). Throughout the disc, Cee shows impressive range and depth in her vocals, moving from sultry to intense to vulnerable seamlessly on these songs.
Hopefully, Lisa Cee won�t take so long to produce an sophomore release. My Turn is a strong debut recording that shows her to be effective in a variety of blues styles.
--- Graham Clarke